*Our account books on projects are in order, VC reacts
*SUBEB Chair avoids c’ttee, summoned to Abuja
By Peter Okutu— ABAKALIKI
THE House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Public Accounts, on Monday, raised the alarm over what it described as lack of accountability and prudent management of funds released by the Federal Government to aid education and social investments in Ebonyi State.
The Committee said this when it visited the permanent site of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki; Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB; Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, projects in institutions in the state; the Ministry of Human Capital Development and Monitoring; Ebonyi College of Education, Ikwo, among others.
Disappointed by the poor execution of projects at EBSU, the Committee rated some of the projects as being shoddy, outside specifications and without considerations for the safety of the end-users.
The Desk Officer in charge of TETFUND projects in EBSU (name withheld) could not answer questions relating to the projects being executed by TETFUND in the University.
VC, SUBEB Chair
Reacting to the visit by the Committee, the Vice-Chancellor of EBSU, Professor Chigozie Ogbu, debunked the claim of alleged diversion of funds by the institution.
He added that every document relating to TETFUND projects within the institution would be reconciled with that of the Ad hoc Committee on Public Accounts.
The Committee, while at SUBEB, moved a motion for the suspension of funds to Ebonyi SUBEB by the Federal Government.
They noted that no single document was presented to it by the Management of the Board as the Chairman of the Board was said to have absented himself from office in order to avoid being probed by the House Committee.
The Chairman of the Board, Chief Hyacinth Ikpor, was equally invited to answer questions relating to the expenditure of funds by the establishment.
While at the Ministry of Human Capital Development and Monitoring, the Commissioner in charge, Mrs. Ann Anigwe, informed the Committee about the non-participation of Ebonyi in the Conditional Cash Transfer, Graduate Economic Empowerment Programme, GEEP, among other Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen during the Committee’s oversight function in Abakaliki, the zonal Chairman and member representing Ezza South/Ikwo federal constituency, Chinedu Ogah, who appreciated Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State for the work he was doing in the area of infrastructure development, complained about sabotage on the part of some public officers in the state.
“We are in Ebonyi to carry out our oversight function. We are here at SUBEB and the Chairman is not available.
“This is too bad, despite all that the governor is doing. We have invited him to Abuja to give some answers to pertinent questions to the Committee on Public Accounts of what is happening here.
“Ebonyi will benefit more from the Federal Government. Every lapse will be fully addressed. People should be accountable.”
“The Committee also moved that funds to SUBEB should be suspended until the ones released are accounted for.”